Illinois Supreme Court leaves hospital property tax exemptions in place

The Illinois Supreme Court has vacated an appellate court decision issued last year that said a state law that allows nonprofit hospitals to avoid paying property taxes is unconstitutional, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Under a 2012 law, a nonprofit hospital in Illinois doesn't have to pay property taxes if it can show its charitable services are equal to or exceed its property tax liability. Last January, the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court ruled the 2012 law is unconstitutional. The ruling was issued in a case brought by Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill., against the city of Urbana and other local taxing districts.

The hospital appealed the case to the Illinois Supreme Court. On Thursday, the state's high court vacated the appellate court's ruling on jurisdictional grounds and remanded the case to a lower court for reconsideration, according to the report.

Although the decision leaves the tax exemption law in place, hospitals had hoped the Illinois Supreme Court would address the constitutionality of the law. However, the court said ruling on the law's constitutionality would be "premature," according to the report.

Since the Supreme Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of the law, it is possible for the court rule on that issue in a future case. 

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